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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama's Eligibility Questioned

While numerous opposition commenters here at The Right Side of Life like to continually pronounce the continued questions of Mr. Obama’s eligibility as dead, the Democrats continue to bring up the “birthers” as a means to… score political points?

Prof. Jacobson at LegalInsurrection points out that it’s not working:

What would one call a political strategy which depended upon portraying the majority of Americans as crazy extremists? The answer is: The current Democratic Party strategy which ignores the meaning of the Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts races, and focuses on smearing opponents as extremists and “Birthers.”

We saw this template throughout the summer as the public protested against the Democratic health care plans. Peaceful protesters were called terrorists and facists, and falsely accused of fomenting violence.

We saw this template again in the Scott Brown campaign, when prominent left-wing bloggers such as Steve Benen pushed the demonstrably false story that Scott Brown was a “Birther.”

Now Benen is pushing hard for this sort of rhetoric to become a focus of Democratic efforts to stem the tide of electoral upsets. …

Commenter “Sallyven” posted the following exquisite synopsis of exactly where many of us logically go with the questions brought up by this President’s shrouded past:

There are many “birthers” who aren’t even questioning whether or not Obama was born in Hawaii, and don’t care whether the long-form certificate is released or not.

There is no “conspiracy” theory, rather they are “originalists” or “Constitutionalists” in that they believe that the “natural born citizen” clause of Article 2 of the Constitution means a pure, naturally-attained citizenship, which would preclude dual citizenship.

Obama’s father was not an immigrant. He was never a US citizen. He was Kenyan and a British citizen, and Obama’s own Fight the Smears campaign website admitted that Obama junior was also a British citizen when he was born. He did not have “pure US Citizenship” at birth.

Without even going into the various documents and cases that support a definition of “natural born citizen” meaning born in the country to US citizen parents, it would be hard to imagine that the founding fathers would ever have thought that a British citizen (other than themselves, who actually fought in the Revolution, and were “grandfathered” in the clause in Article 2) would ever be allowed to hold the title of Commander in Chief. I imagine they are now rolling in their graves.

It is also interesting to note that those who questioned McCain’s natural born citizenship (because he was born in Panama, even though to two US citizen parents), were not labeled as “birthers.” Only those who question whether Obama, who although born on US soil, had a foreign father, lived abroad for a number of years, and perhaps traveled with a foreign passport, combined with the knowledge that we have never had a US President (knowingly, that is—Chester Arthur was recently discovered to be an exception), who was not “grandfathered” or born on US soil, to two parents who were US citizens at the time of his birth.

To label these “birthers” as extremists is quite a stretch. Personally, I would consider those who desire to closely follow the Constitution, “patriots.”

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